Denison Visiting Artist To Create Monument To Licking County
Posted: October 7, 2002
Part of Parents' Weekend Activities
The Denison University art department is hosting California artist Brian Gillis. a Vail-Artist-in-Residence, Thursday through Saturday (Oct. 10, 11 and 12) for a variety of events.
Gillis will open his visit with a public slide/lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday (Oct. 10) in the Cleveland Hall Annex (Mulberry Circle). On Friday, he will work with Denison students and faculty.
A monument to Licking County, a place-specific art work, will come together during Denison's Parents' Weekend activities. Also during the Open Studios Afternoon at Cleveland Hall (W. College Ave.) from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 12), artwork by students will be displayed throughout the six-floor building with students and faculty at work in various studio disciplines.
Gillis will work with ceramics students and community residents outside the sculpture/ceramics area from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday (Oct. 12), to create his "Licking County Monument."
The artist welcomes residents to come, watch, and to take part in the process by bringing an object that relates in some way to Licking County along with a story to go with it - real or imaginary. Objects will be made, molded, fired in the raku kiln, or left unfired, covered with clay or plaster, combined and reassigned roles in the conglomeration of the memorial, says Denison faculty member Assistant Professor Alexandra Hibbitt. Once completed, the sculpture will be moved to its dedication site and left to the devices of time and weather.
Completion of the sculpture also will be marked by a dedicatory potluck feast open to all. Participants should bring a dish to share for the informal cook-out at 5 p.m. at Cleveland Hall. Table service will be provided.
An assistant professor of ceramics at San Diego Mesa College, Gillis earned his bachelor's degree at Humboldt State University (California) and a master of fine arts at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago on a merit scholarship in 1998. He has exhibited widely throughout the United States and in Asia. In 2001 he traveled to the historical ceramic areas of China - Jingdezhen, Yixing, and Shanghai - lecturing on contemporary American ceramics. He was a co-founder of the Alfred/Asianera Industrial residency program. Gillis finds inspiration in the mundane and the vernacular, creating monuments to the "unsung everyday" of life through the reproduction and rediscovery of "stuff."
"I want to establish an orphanage for unrecognized ideology," Gillis says. "I want to canonize the mundane by eliciting a dialogue about the nature of the way we are taught to see and effectively label the world around us."
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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